Does your church make you uncomfortable?
It’s easy to dream about the “perfect” church—a church that sings just the right songs set to just the right music before the pastor preaches just the right sermon to a room filled with just the right mix of people who happen to agree with you on just about everything.
Chances are your church doesn’t quite look like that. But what if instead of searching for a church that makes us comfortable, we learned to love our church, even when it’s challenging? What if some of the discomfort that we often experience is actually good for us?
This book is a call to embrace the uncomfortable aspects of Christian community, whether that means believing difficult truths, pursuing difficult holiness, or loving difficult people—all for the sake of the gospel, God’s glory, and our joy.
“There is a reverse correlation between the comfortability of Christianity and its vibrancy. When the Christian church is comfortable and cultural, she tends to be weak. When she is uncomfortable and countercultural, she tends to be strong.” (source)
“God’s covenant faithfulness to his people, even when the relationship is difficult and embarrassing, should be instructive to us. A healthy relationship with the local church is like a healthy marriage: it only works when grounded in selfless commitment and a nonconsumerist covenant.” (source)
“‘There’s this idea that to live out of conformity with how I feel is hypocrisy; but that’s a wrong definition of hypocrisy,’ Thoennes says. ‘To live out of conformity to what I believe is hypocrisy. To live in conformity with what I believe, in spite of what I feel, isn’t hypocrisy; it’s integrity.’” (source)
“To say you ‘love Jesus but not the church’ is to say you prefer a decapitated head. That’s creepy and doesn’t work biblically (see Eph. 5:23).” (source)
“Moralistic Therapeutic Deism,’ a faith defined by a distant, ‘cosmic ATM’ God who only cares that we are nice to one another and feel good about ourselves.” (source)